This afternoon, the New York Times dropped a beyond-explosive op-ed by an anonymous “senior official in the Trump administration” detailing his brave campaign to “frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations,” while, you know, still working for the guy. As pointed out by Splinter writer Rafi Schwartz, the essay is self-serving garbage that allows whoever the mystery writer is to get off the hook for their own complicity in Trump’s racist, destructive regime.
Trump responded with rage to the column, tweeting the word “TREASON!” After meeting with sheriffs, he spoke to the press, condemning the piece. “The failing New York Times has an anonymous editorial—can you believe it?—anonymous, meaning gutless, a gutless editorial,” he said. In a statement, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders invoked Trump’s voters, saying “None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times.”
Now, the Washington Post has followed up this spectacular disaster with a story featuring more anonymous sources from the White House describing their desperate attempts to search the op-ed author. The sources comment on the difficultly of pinning down a suspect.
“The problem for the president is it could be so many people,” an anonymous leaker told the Post. “You can’t rule it down to one person. Everyone is trying, but it’s impossible.”
Yes, everyone is trying to figure out who could have possibly written disparagingly about the president anonymously in the press, while speaking to the press disparagingly and anonymously.
“It’s like the horror movies when everyone realizes the call is coming from inside the house,” another anonymous former White House official who was in contact with his former colleagues told the Post.
Apparently, text messages reading “the sleeper cells have awoken,” were also circulating among staff. Just a normal day working for the government of the United States of America!
More anonymous leakers told the Post that Trump was particularly enraged with the column’s mention of the late Senator John McCain, who the author described as “a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.” Trump, who often lashed out at McCain, didn’t take kindly to this. Staff told the Post that it reignited his anger over the recent tributes to McCain, in which Trump was often criticized.
Meanwhile, those in the White House speculated wildly about who the author of the column might be, according to the Post:
One aide, for example, suggested a staffer seeking glory and secretly hoping to get caught, while another mused that the official was likely a low-level staffer in a peripheral agency. Others wondered aloud just what constituted a “senior official in the Trump administration.”
Among such a loyal and tight lipped staff, it will be be hard indeed to figure out who could have possibly done such a thing.